We now believe that Chester, tagged in spring 2014, died whilst still in the UK this summer. The last signal was received on the 4 June and none have been received since. Chester dying on the breeding grounds is unusual and this is the first time that we have seen this for a bird that has already been tracked on one migration. It could perhaps be a knock on effect of the cold wet summer we have experienced. In 2012 we saw a similar effect.
Updates from our Cuckoos
Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.
Sad news of Chester
Where is Chester?
The last signal received from Chester was on 4 June from Ashdown Forest but nothing has been received since. In 2014 he left the UK on 19 June and by the 7 July was in Spain. Without signals we do not know whether he is still in the UK or has already begun his journey. Hopefully further signals in the future will reveal his location.
Chester returns to the south of England
By the 11 May Chester had covered the 1500km (930 miles) from his last location in Spain and returned to his breeding grounds at Ashdown Forest in Sussex, becoming the ninth of our tagged Cuckoos to make it back to the UK.
Chester in Spain
Chester has continued on from north Africa and by 1 May was in southern Spain, just north of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Chester in North Africa
From Nigeria on 12 April, Chester has travelled north-west around 3100km (1940 miles), crossing the Sahara desert, and making it to a location close to the Algeria/Morocco border in north Africa by 22 April.
Chester remains in Nigeria
We hadn't heard from Chester for several weeks but the latest signal received shows he is still in the same area of southern Nigeria and has yet to move further west.
Chester on the move again
A signal received on 24 March showed that Chester was still in Nigeria but has left the Cross River area. He has moved 245km (152 miles) south and west and is now on the edge of the Niger Delta.
Chester moves north
Chester has left his location in Gabon and travelled 745km (460 miles) north-west to Nigeria, where he appears to be on the outskirts of the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, in the Cross River area.
Chester and Dudley still within rainforest
Chester and Dudley are the only two Cuckoos, from who we are receiving regular transmissions, who are currently within the Congo rainforest. We expect them to move north to the forest edge shortly as other Cuckoos have done.
Chester still in Gabon
Since arriving in Gabon Chester has settled in an area of rainforest in the north west of the country, close to the border with Equatorial Guinea. His last location signal was at 06.30 on 19 December.
What we can learn from 25 years of watching gardens
Exploring the value of a complete quarter-century of weekly garden bird observations from BTO's Garden BirdWatch covering the length and breadth of the country.
BTO & Lincolnshire Bird Club Conference 2021
This year the BTO & Lincolnshire Bird Club conference is going virtual with an afternoon of talks you can watch from the comfort of your home for just £5. The conference will be held online using Zoom. 15.00...